Jim Bowman

See www.jimbowman.com for information about Jim Bowman as writer of corporate history – researching and writing in consultation with company leadership and using company archives, outside collections, Internet searches, and interviews with major characters in a company’s story.

About Jim Bowman: A former Chicago Tribune history columnist and former Chicago Daily News reporter, for 21 years he has been a writer of business history. Most recently he collaborated with retired banker C. Paul Johnson in Good Guys Finish First: Reflections of a CEO and How to Start a De Novo Community Bank.

His work includes book-length histories of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, CFS Continental, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Safety-Kleen. For each he dug into archives and outside documents and interviewed people from chairman to shipping clerk for what makes a company or institution unique.

He is available to do the same for your company in book, article, brochure, or however you want to memorialize your company, inspire employees, or stimulate business.

The Books:

  • 2012 publication of Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968, as at www.myjesuitlife.com.
  • Good Guys Finish First: Reflections of a CEO and How To Start a De Novo Community Bank, by C. Paul Johnson with Jim Bowman (editor), 2004 – available at Amazon.com and elsewhere on the Internet
  • Winston & Strawn: The First 150 Years, privately distributed history of a Chicago law firm, 2004; Bowman was a researcher and writer for this project.
  • Reach Out . . . The Story of Motorola and its People, by Harry Mark Petrakis, 2003; Bowman was an editor.
  • History of William Blair & Company, Chicago, investment banking firm, completed 2000, unpublished
  • Florsheim the Brand: 100 Years and Counting, Florsheim Shoe Co., Chicago, 1996. Production was halted when company was sold.
  • “Waste Not . . .”: The Safety-Kleen Story, J.G. Ferguson Publishing Co., Chicago, 1989
  • Good Medicine: The First 150 Years of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, 1987
  • More Than a Coffee Company: The Story of CFS Continental, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, 1986
  • Booz, Allen & Hamilton: Seventy Years of Client Service, 1914-1984, New York, 1984


Since January, 2004, he has done a monthly column for Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest (Illinois). Recent columns

His Weblogs, or Blogs:

Blithe Spirit — Mostly conservative commentary, with special attention to Oak Park Illinois

Chicago Newspapers — Ongoing critique

Chicago History — Blasts from the past, drawing on Bowman’s “The Way We Were” columns in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine in the early 1980s

His Blithe Spirit web site — Back issues

1982-85. For the Tribune Sunday Magazine, “The Way We Were,” a column on Chicago history using Tribune clips and Chicago Historical Society, Newberry Library, and Art Institute of Chicago files.

1968-78. Reporter, Chicago Daily News

Member, past president, Society of Midland Authors

Member, webmaster, Midwest Writers Association